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Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back!

The Thaiger

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Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back! | The Thaiger

PHOTO: posttoday

…well, according to enthusiastic reports in the Thai media. Thailand’s favourite police poster boy and friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, Surachate Hakparn, is poised to make a return to the front line. Thai media are reporting that he may be about to be appointed to the post of Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police.

In April he was side-lined from active duty after a high profile two year career when he was seldom out of the headlines, rounding up illegal immigrants, chasing down scammers and fronting photo opportunities with overstayers. He was ahead of the game when it comes to Thai policing with a team of media minders and an active social media following.

On any one day he could appear in four of five provinces around the country.

He kept remind us that he was acting on the policy of “Good guys in, bad guys out”.

Once heading up the Immigration Bureau, he started to make enemies with his internal crackdown on alleged corruption at the hundreds of immigration outposts around the country. He introduced a ‘no tip’ policy, shuffled entrenched immigration officials to inactive posts and was responsible for the big improvements at airport immigration – adding new cubicles, more staff, improving training and even adding ‘Chinese Tourist Only’ queues to help cope with the surge in Chinese tourism.

But his steady rise to the top was abruptly cut short when he was unceremoniously dumped from his high-profile post and given an unspecified job at the Operation Centre of the Royal Thai Police. The order was signed by the Thai Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda. Eventually he was posted as an ‘advisor’ in the PMs office in Bangkok.

Read the story about his sudden demotion HERE.

After a month he headed off to the US for a ‘break’ and was conspicuous by his absence ever since. No explanation has ever been forthcoming from either his superiors or Surachate himself about the reasons for his sudden career demise.

Read the story upon his return from the US HERE.

On Thursday, he was photographed visiting a temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. Reports of Surachate’s return have been unconfirmed by the government or head of police.

SOURCE: Thai Rath | Spring News

Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back! | News by The Thaiger

 

 

 

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Chiang Mai

Jump in national park visitor numbers as ‘winter’ arrives in northern Thailand

May Taylor

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Jump in national park visitor numbers as ‘winter’ arrives in northern Thailand | The Thaiger

As northern Thailand moves into the ‘cold season’ (well, cold for Thailand) and temperatures drop, national park officials are reporting an increase in visitor numbers. Whilst the temperature is cooling down on the local northern mountain tops, the ground level temperatures are still around 30 (forecast below). But later in December the temperatures sometime reach as low as zero for places like Doi Inthanon.

The Bangkok Post is reporting that Kritsayam Khongsatri, Head of Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai says the park welcomed 21,994 visitors over the recent long weekend, over 7,000 a day.

Kritsayam says most of the visitors are Thais who enjoy camping in the colder weather, with average temperatures at the summit of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain, being just 5-11 degrees Celsius.

Khao Yai National Park, north east of Bangkok, has also seen a significant increase in visitor numbers, with wild elephants coming out from the jungle to feel the warmth of the sun as temperatures dropped to below 20 Celsius yesterday.

“Visitors to the park are being asked to refrain from using car horns, or bright lights such as flashing cameras and full beam headlights to avoid disturbing the resident elephants.”

Winter in northern Thailand typically sees a dip in temperatures and a decline in rainfall coupled with strengthening winds from the north.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Jump in national park visitor numbers as 'winter' arrives in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger Jump in national park visitor numbers as 'winter' arrives in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Economy

Twin TAT campaigns will boost domestic travel

Greeley Pulitzer

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Twin TAT campaigns will boost domestic travel | The Thaiger

In November the Tourism Authority of Thailand plans two campaigns – “Visit Thailand with 100 Baht” and “Shocking Price Weekday Travel”, – aimed to generate 400 million baht in local tourism revenue before the end of the year.

The TAT’s executive director of product promotion said “Shocking Price Weekday Travel” would encourage upper and middle-class Thai tourists to travel more on weekdays, enjoying discounts of up to 80% on high-end tourism products, including five-star hotels, airlines, spas, yachting, Michelin-star restaurants and other privileges from online travel agents. The TAT says at least 4,000 tourism operators and members of tourism associations have registered to take part in the scheme.

A second campaign, “Visit Thailand with 100 Baht”, will feature 40,000 tourism products priced at just 100 baht, offering 10,000 products per day on November 11-12 and December 11-12. You’ll need to be 18 or older and have e-banking and a mobile phone number to join the campaign via the TAT’s website, and can shop for only one tourism product outside their hometown.

Registration will run from 6am until midnight or whenever the 10,000 products for that day run out, the TAT said. The campaign will offer air and bus tickets, hotels, food and drink, tour packages and attractions.

The TAT’s governor said 116 million baht will be used for the two additional programs, above the government’s 1,000 baht cash giveaway Chim-Shop-Chai (Taste-Shop-Spend) scheme, and a 15% cash rebate for spending on tourism products. He expects the new campaigns should add about 400 million baht in tourism revenue and increase the number of Thai tourists travelling domestically by 10-20% .

“The new campaigns, are expected to raise domestic tourism revenue to 1.12 trillion baht this year.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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